If you are experiencing sadness, less energy and a lack of joy in most things you do you might have a depression. If you are in a depressive state, you lose the motivation to do things that normally make you happy. For instance, you might stop engaging in your hobbies or isolate yourself from your friends. Things that used to be routine can become simply unmanageable. This might be grocery shopping or washing your clothes. You feel increasingly tired in general and more easily fatigued.
Guilt and loss of self confidence
A lot of people also experience guilt and shame as well as a loss of self-confidence. Having a hard time doing things that seem so easy to other people can make you think negatively about yourself: “I’m such a bad parent, I can’t even manage to get up and help my kids get dressed” or “Everyone else is managing their studies, jobs and working out and here am I not even capable of getting out of the bed – pathetic!”.
A depression also affects the part of your brain responsible for the so-called executive functions. The executive functions include memory, attention and the ability to problem solve. When these areas work at a lower level that normally it is harder to manage your studies or your work. Reading might take longer, and it can be hard to maintain the attention. Functioning at an inferior level at work or in school can make you even more sad and impact negatively on your self-esteem.
Some experience difficulties sleeping as well while others experience the opposite – sleeping way more than normal. In the same way some might lose their appetite while others eat much more. Furthermore, some lose their sex drive – either because of the depression or as a side effect of the anti-depressive medicine.
What can be done about depression?
When you enter a state of being tired, sad and bereft of energy, it is totally normal to stay in bed or on the sofa and do as little as possible. The problem is however that you only get sadder from lying in your bed alone. It is therefore essential to counter the development at get activities up and going again – although it is easier said than done.
The behaviour part
A part of the treatment therefore consists of setting small realistic goals i collaboration with your psychologist. If you are on a full-time sick leave it is not sustainable attempting to work at normal workload from one day to the next. Maybe you can manage taking the dog for a walk or maybe spending an extra hour going through the e-mails. Whatever your starting point it is a matter of taking mangeable steps in the right direction.
The cognition (thought) part
People with depression often experience their thinking changing. They start thinking more negatively, in ”black/white” terms, thinking of worst case scenarios, overgeneralizing, taking things more personally or assuming to know what other people think of them. For example, if a friend cancels an appointment you might assume that it is because your friend no longer likes you and naturally you get sad. You might not consider that your friend is simply busy. Things like these maintain the depressive state. A part of the treatment is therefore to learn to identify these patterns of thinking and to challenge their truthfulness. In time you will get quicker and quicker at challenging the thoughts and your normal thinking patterns will return.
How do I get help?
If you seek more knowledge about or help to treat depression you are very welcome to call us at: +45 42940690, write us through secure mail or book an appointment here.